723 12th St, #3
New Westminster, BC
I’ll come out and say it. I’m struggling to find a truly amazing and tasty shawarma/gyro/döner kebab/donair here in the GVRD that I’m really happy with and a place that makes it that I would frequent regularly if it blew me away. If anyone can help me by directing me to one that is at the top of the class, please, please, please let me know.
As any visitor to Crystal Mall in Burnaby can attest, it is heavily East Asian in context. Walking inside you feel like you are transported across the Pacific, both in terms of the kinds of shops and eateries and the people packed inside. So stepping just outside to Abdul’s was a refreshing change to get away from the sea of black hair. 🙂 My experience on this visit was completed by the pack of about fifteen Persians who suddenly came into the store when I was ordering, complete with traditional dress on the part of the females in the contingent. Pretty amazing and a boost to my expectations of what I could get from this place.
Inside a very compact but efficiently set up enclave, the main proprietor is full of energy and movement in preparing the food – seemingly weighted on the take away crowd. Soon enough and luckily before the rush of choices made by the other customers, I got mine and took it outside to a table to eat up. A quick examination inside and it looked pretty darn good. Hearty and well packed. But then I realized that there was a much higher ratio of vegetables (ordered with everything) than actual meat. While acceptable on flavours, I just didn’t get enough of the meat to really satisfy me. Towards the last third, I felt like I was eating a lettuce-only wrap.
Returning to the site of an earlier disappointment on a random stopover, this time I went all out and got the biggest and baddest concoction they had on tap. Not large nor extra large. This one was called the Asskicker. Getting a mix of beef and chicken, this was a massive beast, almost approaching football-size territory. The place was still popular judging from the lineup encountered, but the slow speed of the solo female behind the counter probably had something to do with that (along with the guys who feel its their right to try and hit on the poor girl and cause further delays).
Now here, there was no skimping on the meat. But, it was so lacking flavor (seasoning) and dry as a bone. A direct contrast to the one had at Abdul’s. I realized at this point, that I just can’t win. Volume couldn’t compensate for the blandness and lack of moisture in the meat. Help me dear readers, find a place that strikes this delicate balance critical to making this food outstanding…